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CHANDRASHEKHAR

half beauty, half strength—half Luna, half Sol—-half Gauri,[1] half Shankara——half Radha,[2] half Syam— half hope, half fear-half light, half shade—half fire, half smoke—what is Protap compared with this? Oh, why did I not see it before, why was I tempted, why did I fall! That language, chaste, articulate, illumined with smile, tinged with humour, full of tenderness, soft, sweet and clear-what is Protap’s in comparison? Oh, why was I tempted, why did I fall, why did I sacrifice my honour! That smile, like the jasmine in yonder flower-pot, like the lightning-flash amidst clouds, like the worship of Durga[3] in a year of scarcity, like my own dream of happiness—oh, why did I not see it before, why was I tempted, why did I ruin myself, why could I not understand! That love which is like the ocean, impassable, immeasurable, unfathomable, pulsating in its own strength, yet placidly calm, solemn and full of loveliness, overflowing the shores in its agitation, terrible with tossing waves, impervious, unconquerable and awful——oh, why did I not understand it, why did I not cherishit to my heart, why did I not lay down my life at the sacrifice of my all! Who am I? Am I worthy of him? An ignorant, illiterate, sinful girl as I am, I am incapable of appreciating his worth. What am I by his side?—a snail in the sea, a worm in the flower, the spots in the moon, the dust in the feet. What am I by his side?—an evil dream in life, a slip in the memory, an impediment to happiness, a doubt in hope. What am I by his side?—the mud in the tank, the thorn in

  1. The consort of Mahadeva (Shankara).
  2. The beloved of Krishna (Syam).
  3. Among the Bengal Hindus the annual worship of the goddess Durga is a festive occasion of great mirth and hilarity. In a year of scarcity when people are sad and dejected it comes as a great relief.